Hey guys! Welcome back to TGWAM! I’m glad that you’ve all come back this week to read what I have to say. I know it’s a little different that I’m posting on Tuesday, but don’t worry, next week this will all go back to normal! I hope you’re all enjoying your Independence Day! This day is so important, because two hundred and forty-one years ago, our founding fathers declared our independence from Britain. They began a revolution that would lead to the United States of America being founded upon freedom for ALL people and the right to pursue whatever happiness means to us. They paved the way for the American dream and for the ability for people to pursue a better life. Thank you to all our veterans and active service members for fighting everyday to keep our amazing country free. I am so blessed to live in a country where I have the freedom to do things like own this awesome blog with my best friend and write about our God without fear of government persecution.
Today I’m talking about the cross of Jesus. The cross is the most common symbol of Christianity to society. Many people see a cross and instantly think of Christians and what we believe our Jesus did for us. However, in today’s society the cross has quickly become a decorative object. While I see nothing wrong with having a decorative cross in your house or on a necklace, I do believe that the beautification of the cross can cause us to forget how the cross was a place of torment, torture, and eventually death for our Lord. Although Jesus would overcome the grave to set us free from our sin, it is imperative that we don’t forget the significance of the cross.
In John 19, the Bible lays out the torture that Jesus endured during his journey to the cross. The torment and torture of Jesus did not begin on the cross, it began in the courts of Pontius Pilate. When Pilate first trialed Jesus (John 18: 28-40), he found Jesus not guilty. He repeatedly told the Jewish people this; however, because the Romans were the only people permitted to execute someone, the Jewish leaders brought Jesus before Pilate. In John 19:1-3 we are shown the beating and torture of Jesus. “Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. ‘Hail! King of the Jews!’ they mocked, as they slapped him across the face.” (John 19:1-3) After this Pilate brought Jesus back before the people they began to shout “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate repeatedly told the people that he found Jesus to be not guilty. (John 19:5,6) Pilate eventually handed Jesus over to the people to be crucified. They then took Jesus away to the place called Place of the Skull (Golgotha). There was a sign placed on the cross that read “King of the Jews.” This mockery was only the beginning of what Jesus would encounter at Golgotha. After they had nailed Jesus to cross, they divided his clothes among the four of them and gambled for his robe by throwing dice. If we flip back to Luke 23, we are shown more verbal mockery. The crowd repeatedly mocked him by saying “He saved others. Let him save himself if he really is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” (Luke 23:35) Not only did the leaders in the crowd mock him, but so did the soldiers saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” (Luke 23: 37) They also mocked him by offering him sour wine. (Luke 23:36) The mockery of Jesus on the cross by the leaders, the common crowd, and the soldiers was only part of the pain that Jesus endured.
When Jesus took the cross as punishment for our sin, He took on every sin you and I would ever commit. He who knew no sin became sin for our sake. He took on the cross and every sin ever committed for our ransom. He took every bit of pain, torture, and mockery to bridge the gap between us and our Father in Heaven. In Mark 15 we are shown the moments right before the death of Jesus. He had been hanging on the cross, and it was now noon. Suddenly, darkness covered the land from noon until three o’clock. Mark 15:34 says, “Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’” In this moment, the sin that was placed upon Jesus was too much for God to bear and the Almighty God turned away from His Son. Shortly after Jesus’s outcry to His father, we see in John 19:30, “…he said, ‘It is finished!’ Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.” After Jesus died, a soldier pierced Jesus side with a spear and from the wound blood and water flowed.
Jesus death on the cross is the most important act of scripture aside from His resurrection. Without the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Christianity is nothing more than a man-made religion where we waste our time praying to a dead God who can do nothing for us. Praise God that this is not the case!
No matter how beautiful the promise of the resurrection is for believers, we cannot forget how ugly that cross was. We cannot ignore how gruesome and raw the road to the Calvary was for Jesus. We must not allow the cross to become something so painted up and beautiful that we forget the true meaning of what the cross was and is. That old rugged cross that Jesus was crucified on must not be forgotten and most definitely it must not be beautified. “For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” Luke 19:10. This is a beautiful statement, but the road to reconciliation of all men was not an easy one, and for that reason, we MUST NOT allow our old rugged cross to become simply a beautiful symbol to hang on our doors or stand outside our church. Shame on us if we allow ourselves to forget the torment of our savior for the sake of a yard decoration.
Thank you for coming back to TGWAM today and for reading what I have to say this week. I know it was weird reading a “Bry post” on a Tuesday, but be sure to come back on Thursday for Lacey’s post as well! Please stay safe as you continue to enjoy your holiday!
Be His Hands and Feet